Miffed With DMK, Congress May Contest Alone in TN Polls
Senior leadership of the party confirmed that the Congress is thinking of “other alternatives”.
Indicative of a fissure in the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-Indian National Congress (INC) alliance, senior party leaders of the latter said that they may contest elections alone if DMK refuses to give them more than 18 seats to contest. While the Congress had asked for 30 seats this election, the DMK has been adamant that it can offer only 18.
Congress Feels ‘Insulted’
Speaking to The Quint, a senior Congress leader who has been part of seat-sharing talks said, “If we are not given due respect, we will think of going for other alternatives.” Indicating that the party will pull out of the alliance, he added, “The previous time we were given 40 seats. We are seeing a distressing trend of our seats getting reduced this time. We cannot stand for it.”
In 2016 Assembly elections, the Congress had won eight seats out of 40. The DMK had won 89. AIADMK, which came to power, had a total tally of 134 seats.
The national leadership of the Congress party said that the demand to go alone in TN polls has come from the state leadership. Congress state president KS Alagiri who has been leading negotiations with DMK had complained in an internal party meeting held on Friday, 5 March, about “DMK’s insults”, sources said. In fact, Alagiri is believed to have come to the verge of breaking down in the meeting.
The Congress’ state leadership has decided to inform the national leadership to end talks with DMK if the latter does not budge from its initial offer, the senior Congress leader said.
‘BJP Treated Better’
The Congress’ distress with the talks is also partly due to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) comfortable alliance with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in TN.
AIADMK has offered the BJP 24 seats. “It is a shame not to be treated properly in the DMK alliance,” a senior party leader of the state Congress said.
The leader asked, “If one is not treated with respect, then what is the alliance all about?”
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